Spring chat

For some patch birders, the Stonechat is the species that declares Spring sprung! From late February onwards this smart chat starts to appear in modest numbers across southern England, from headlands (such as Portland Bill and Dungeness) to inland farms (such as Canons). At the latter site, after the odd winter individual, we were treated to three birds today, including two spanking males. These images are enough to proclaim this bird of the British race hibernans and not the continental race of rubicola that sometimes turns up, particularly along the south coast. To help us get into the seasonal mood, the sun shone, and it was, at times, mild. Roll on the white arses...



Comments

Derek Faulkner said…
For me, and I suppose boringly obvious, the one bird that signifies Spring is here, is the Swallow. It is also the only bird-related thing that I have ever kept a list about, with first sighting dates going back to the 1960's. Mind you seeing the first Swallow doesn't always mean the arrival of Spring weather, many times that first sighting has been followed by snow.
Steve Gale said…
Out of interest Derek, what is your earliest ever?
Saw a swallow spotting logged on twitter yesterday. I think I had one March 25th odd last year.
Factor said…
We had up to seven Stonechat wintering at Holmethorpe but they have all now all left this past week - wonder whether some of the Canons Farm sightings came from just down the road?
Derek Faulkner said…
My earliest ever is 15th March 2009.
Steve Gale said…
It's one of the most anticipated times of year Simon - the arrival of the first spring migrants.
Steve Gale said…
Seven! That must be a Holmethorpe record Neil.

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